We have been to Bar Harbor on several occasions. In the past we have gone out with two of the local sea kayak guide services. One of them was with Coastal kayaking in Frenchman's Bay which was not a great experience. The guide was very young and didn't really seem to care about the job he was doing.
The other time was with National Park Sea Kayak Tours. Their tour guide was a lot better but we had to drive to the other side of the island from Bar Harbor and it took longer than they said it would and despite the lousy guide from Coastal kayaking we still proffered paddling in Frenchman's Bay to paddling on the west side of the island.
The narrow west side of the island was nice but it just didn't have the wide open views, huge island cliffs, and majestic beauty of Frenchman's bay.
On our third time out sea kayaking in Bar Harbor we hit the jackpot. We went out with Acadia Park Kayak Tours in Frenchman's Bay. The owner of the company, who apparently also does most of the guiding, was an incredible guide who knew the answer to every question about the area that we thought to ask. He also taught a little natural history and promoted some ocean environmentalism in a very informative way that didn't seem preachy and that we really appreciated.
We also really liked the fact that this company limits its open tour groups to six people or less. On the two previous trips we did with the other outfitters we were in groups of twelve and it just seemed like too many people for the guides to be able to coordinate things well, especially the Coastal guide.
If you go sea kayaking definitely go out with Acadia Park Kayak Tours.
We didn't take pictures but a pulled a couple off of Acadia Park Kayak Tour's website.
The other thing we did that we loved was climbing with the Atlantic Climbing school.
In fact I think I will write a review for them as well.
Equipment: Acadia Park Kayak Tours provided all of the equipment
There are numerous hiking opportunities in and around Bar Harbor. One of the most interesting, and within shouting distance of downtown Bar Harbor, is the Bar Island Trail. This is a very easy trail but still one which has a special sense of adventure - even a certain bit of danger. It can only be hiked at low tide, when a gravel bar is exposed that connects Bar Island with the mainland.
Bar Island is a small uninhabited, forest covered island which is a part of Acadia National Park. It is within easy view of Bar Harbor, but is a world away. If you get caught on the island after the tide comes in, you will have several hours to wait before you can return to the mainland. Be prepared.
Directions:You may find the Bar Island Trail by following Bridge Street off West Street in downtown Bar Harbor.
Part of the reason I took a trip up this way was to specifically sea kayak. I had a fun time as we kayaked around the Bar Harbor islands. The weather was actually too rough to go kayak around Acadia.
Equipment: There are several outfitters in town. The one I went to was on Cottage Street - well just about everything is on this street or on Main.